How IBM quietly pushed out 20,000 older workers

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  • Published on:  Friday, April 20, 2018
  • Age discrimination can be very hard to prove.

    Read ProPublica's full feature story here:

    In a ProPublica feature that collected the stories of over 1,400 former IBM employees, it was estimated that a staggering 20,000 American employees ages 40 and over have been eliminated by the company. How does one of the country’s largest tech giants quietly push out this many older workers? Don’t we have laws to protect people at the end of their careers?

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  • Lightbulb _

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    Doing the same Stuff in Germany

  • pink pearl

     (Jul 23, 2018)

    They can stay on the cutting edge as well as anyone else.

  • portallatro

     (Jun 20, 2018)

    The older person's salary is a little more. Sometimes older people question stupid orders.

  • BuddyL

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    Employee liquidation: the (unfortunately) quintessential American🇺🇸 business practice.

  • Chevy Chase

     (Jun 16, 2018)

    New rounds are coming soon!

  • wizard hacker

     (May 16, 2018)

    BuddyL the business executives own the most stock in the company so it’s a no brainer they would get paid more if they own more of the company . Liquidation is good for the business if it needs it to minimize costs. At the end of the day it’s all for the customer.

  • Ieuan Hunt

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    This isn't just an issue for protection of workers. There is also an issue of archiving there are computers built with tech from 50+ years ago with valuable information on them. The problem is that there are very few people working in the field today that know how these systems operate because they were fired, retired or died. As more information is stored online/digitally and the people working on them get older this will become a massive issue. Just imagine if MP4s or JPEGs are made obsolete in a fe...

  • MrArthoz

     (Jul 21, 2018)

    Even the old edison tubes are archived and sometimes reproduced. There will always be someone with the knowledge. Heck, the british museum even got experts who reversed engineered ancient cuneiform writing and language. The real issue is people must realise that all business are just that....only business and not a care for humanity unless it makes a good business to legalized prostitution in europe.Those who will soon enter adult life should take this lesson at heart. Life is cruel....

  • anon

     (Jun 12, 2018)

    the reason why archiving old games is a problem is no one cares about the old junk. and retards talking about how people can't figure out how to use mp4 in the future. digital file format are not the same as programming language. all digital files are essentially ones and zeros. so in the future it'll be a lot easier to create new apps because you won't need to learn programming like you do today. infacct programming today is so much easier than it was 20 years ago. as AI gets better and the world gets...

  • scary muffin

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    yea they fired my dad too in europe

  • conquer gravity

     (Aug 20, 2018)


  • Lerow Niga Lerow Anisto

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    Let's all boycott IBM...soon as we find out what are their products

  • nluvwtmuzic

     (Apr 23, 2018)

    Just about everything you can't think of is an IBM product

  • BluePlanet

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    They don’t compete in the personal electronics market. The only way you could possibly boycott them is if you set up your own business and refused to use their content

  • spelunkerd

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    The workforce has dramatically changed over this generation. High tech jobs are set up so that employees work on short term projects and need to apply for a new job every few years. Good luck to an older employee who hasn't stayed on the cutting edge of his field. In America where health care is linked to an employer, people would be wise to cache earnings in anticipation of needing that cushion much sooner than they may like.

  • vincentmuyo

     (Dec 10, 2018)

    The older people being let go are highly skilled at their jobs. You're really overestimating how much technology changes. The company higher-ups just don't want to pay the higher wages. Yes, the quarterly reports are being favoured over long-term sustainability and growth. There's a reason IBM is seen as somewhat incompetent in the world of IT these days. This was entirely avoidable but, you know, quarterly reports.

  • Bing Miu

     (Aug 26, 2018)

    it's to save cost

  • Mohit Garg

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    So 40+ are "older" workers. This statement just brings me to reality!

  • pakigangsta5

     (Apr 23, 2018)

    Yeah man by 40, you should be in a managerial position or you can't compete with the young kids and their newer education.

  • MaJuV

     (Apr 21, 2018)

    Age 40-50 is in fact the worst age category you can be at. In several countries (including where I live), companies get benefits when they hire people of ages 50+. They don't do that for people between 40 & 50. And companies rather hire people with less experience, just so they have to pay them less.

  • Munashiimaru

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    Kind of weird that they would do that considering they're name is basically synonymous with old.

  • Gemini

     (Sep 28, 2018)

    They are still cutting edge, just not in the consumer electronics market. Enterprise they are still pretty strong.

  • crunch9876

     (May 28, 2018)

    Yea they are doing this to survive becuase they have been a trash company headed to bankruptcy for years. Desperate last grasps at life’s.

  • Criipier

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    The fact that in the US you can sign deals that waive your legal rights is something that I've never quite understood. How is this legal? You're setting up a system that will always be used to ensure that powerful stakeholders will never be held accountable.

  • Anthony Roy

     (Aug 25, 2018)

    _ _EightEightFourOne Yeah dude, they're the poisoned slaves. not the US. not at all man. The entire country isn't a bunch of brainwashed fools who are weaponized by the 2 party system to fight eachother day in day out. Not us though, its those people living the happiest lives on the planet that are slaves. lol. you're so right, kid.

  • CasinoR

     (Aug 19, 2018)

    Jon G they should be just illegal.

  • Kel McGowan

     (Apr 20, 2018)

    This is happening at a lot of companies across the world though. They lay off older, more experienced workers, on higher wages and then bring in these young naive over-enthusiastic workers, who do whatever they're told, for peanut wages, because they're so desperate to get their foot on the work ladder. People that have worked 30 years good service for their company, blemish free records & they're getting hauled over hot coals for minor discrepancies & given the option to either leave or be mad...

  • Paul Ahrenholtz

     (Sep 2, 2018)

    All comes back to the fact that our minimum wage isnt necessarily a living wage everywhere

  • shuki1

     (May 1, 2018)

    Kel, this contradicts what the media is telling us about Millennials - that their demands are high and will not work for peanuts.